The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.Chögyam Trungpa
When the need to control has been programmed into us from the start, it’s easier said than done to “let go and let God,” or just “go with the flow.”
On some level trying to control our lives and make them look like we think they’re supposed to look goes against the nature of the universe which has its own plans.
That’s why habitually not being able to let go has a negative impact on our health and our quality of life.
The question is where does that conditioned, habitual need to control came from in the first place?
What are the signs of it in our bodies and lives, and how can we let the control go and embrace more trust?
This is not always–almost never, actually–an easy thing to do but it is necessary for us to evolve and grow into the being that the universe means us to be.
We owe it to ourselves to figure out how to stop trying to control everything and just let go.
From about 2-4 weeks after conception, the foundational layer of our nervous system comes online.
I like to call this early and foundational nervous system the primal brain.
The primal brain starts feeling into the world around us.
As it does so it feels into our parents and the immediate culture.
Until we reach the age of about seven, we spend much of our time trying to make sense of this world through the primal brain’s lens.
As we look to those we count on to teach and protect us, we see that they control a great deal of their thoughts and emotions.
This control isn’t something that is done consciously.
They learned to do this from their parents, and the generations before them.
We get a sense of what is and is not acceptable and we subconsciously learn to build walls around the parts of ourselves that are considered unacceptable.
The biggest thing we learn is that everyone around us is trying like hell not to feel their human vulnerability.
Uncertainty comes with being human and this, too, becomes something we learn we must fight against.
As we exert more control to reign in these parts of ourselves that we deem unacceptable and avoid feeling uncertainty and vulnerability, we create conflict with life itself.
Life force energy (click the link to see an in-depth article that I’ve written) flows through us constantly.
This energy is meant to flow unhindered so that we can experience the whole of human existence.
When we start trying to control parts of this experience, we create a sort of dam that slows down, and eventually halts, this natural flow of energy.
As we brace ourselves against the flow, there is a buildup of tension throughout our bodies.
This can happen even in sleep.
In damming up life force energy, our range and depth of emotion are hindered and we limit ourselves through the belief systems and stories by which we live our daily lives.
Because of the ways that we’ve tried to control and put a limit on our experience, whenever life asks us to stretch those limits we feel a sort of primal fear that tells us our existence is in peril.
The rules are very clear to us and anything that threatens to change those rules creates a situation where we intensify our control.
We can’t just stop trying to control everything and let go.
Ego tries to protect us by increasing control.
We may do things like avoiding people or situations that threaten to challenge our beliefs.
We tell ourselves stories about why we can’t move forward.
It helps to think about that old candy we loved as kids, Laffy Taffy.
This candy, when gently handled could be bent and rolled, and shaped.
If not handled gently, such as bending it too quickly or dropping it, the candy snapped and broke.
We are much like Laffy Taffy, we can be bent, shaped, and molded when this happens gradually.
If, however, we are given too much stress, we break.
By creating that dam where energy does not freely flow, we are creating a situation where there is stress that can break us.
This is often life’s way of shaking us up to make us aware that we need to undergo some change.
The spiritual teacher, Trumpa Rimpoche is quoted as telling his students: “The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.”
The lesson is that It is important to get used to falling.
Part of controlling is building a whole identity.
We think we understand who we are and what life is and where we fit into it.
This creates the illusion of control.
This illusion takes energy and resources to maintain.
The resources that are being used to maintain control are then not available to do things like love, digest our food, recover from injury and otherwise adapt to our environment.
The truth is, this illusion of safety is just that, an illusion.
We never really have control over everything.
Eventually something will happen in life that will shake our grip loose-loss of some sort, injury, illness, etc.
All the ideas we have of where we fit into this world begin to crumble, and we begin to fall.
Things that can help you start to relinquish this control include practices such as meditation, yoga, body-centered psychotherapy, BioSoul Integration (my work), and others along this line.
These things can help ease your transition and provide you with skills that help you navigate the new reality.
Here’s a video I made on the subject of control and letting it go:
Or if you’re more into podcasts the BioSoul Integration Podcast and this episode on control can be found where ever you listen to your podcasts.
As we begin to allow ourselves to let go of some of this control, we are often faced with shadow work.
Click the link to see an in-depth blog post I created on shadow work called Shadow Work: 3 Keys To Quickly Integration Your Shadow Self.
You will be asked to feel more and many of the emotions won’t be easy.
You will be asked to examine all the roles you have taken on.
You may find that these roles, such as mother, teacher, plumber, etc. don’t mean what you believed they did.
You will also find that they aren’t as big a part of you as you believed.
You will feel emotions you have avoided such as fear, anger, guilt, and shame.
Many feel a sense of loss.
You are about to leave behind something that has been an integral part of you throughout your existence in this human experience.
You are grieving the loss of yourself as you know it.
As your control starts to come loose, you may find that you no longer want to participate in certain things you used to.
Maybe you have always followed a certain occupation because you were convinced it was safe and expected, but you know you want to try your hand at becoming a full-time artist.
Now that you are allowing the life energy to flow, you may find that pursuing that dream is an option–you may find it’s a must.
Many of my patients find they are discovering the need for a gentler, less hectic life.
They are taking life slower and realizing that many of the things they took for granted that need to be done aren’t actually necessary.
You will find that your body also begins to change.
You’ll trust life more.
You’ll trust yourself more.
You will feel less pain from the built-up tension.
You will hold yourself in a different manner (article I wrote on how posture is connected to the flow of life force enrgy in us and how our emotions are effected) and walk with more ease.
The depth and range of your emotional expression will increase.
Your mind will become open to new, more expansive ideas and your behavior will start to reflect this change as well.
You are not changing so much as becoming the you that you were born to be.
Courtesy of the movie Fight Club by 20th Century Fox
According to Tyler Durden from the movie Fight Club, taking the initiative to start releasing this need for control will help make the process easier.
Refusing to do so, however, will not stop life from happening as it must.
You may find yourself losing a job or ending a relationship.
Someone close to you may pass away and leave you feeling lost because you are no longer filling a role that was so much a part of your existence.
These things are ways that life forces you to take a look at your thoughts and find a new way.
Our biggest challenge comes at the end of our lives when we need to let go and trust that all will be well.
It doesn’t only happen on an individual level but can also happen globally.
The recent coronavirus is a great example of how this can happen on a wider scale.
COVID is forcing us all to exam our daily lives.
It’s showing us our roles weren’t always as we thought.
We were taught that the things we held as important weren’t necessarily the ones that should have held that position.
Some people are adapting easily to this change in perspective.
On some level, we all felt the fear at the knowledge that life will never again be exactly as it was before this virus.
Some people took this fear in changing of reality to the extreme, the toilet paper hoarders for example.
Panic set in.
We were all tasked to examine our lives and redefine our role in the world and where we fit into the entire scheme of things.
This entire process is life’s way of purifying us.
We are being purified of the fear that has kept us from experiencing all that life has to offer.
It is ridding us of the things that hold us back from becoming an integral part of this planet and from allowing us to share our gifts with the rest of the world.
When you feel this fear, and you will, don’t try to push it away. Acknowledge it.
Examine it from every angle.
How does it feel, taste, smell?
Where is it located and what is it trying to tell you?
As you become familiar with it, you will begin to hear the message the Universe has for you.
The fear will begin to integrate into your heart where it will transform itself.
You will begin to see that life has not failed you but is still there and holding you up.
When this occurs, you can begin to move into a new direction of greater love and connection than you ever believed to be possible.
If you are interested to know if I might be able to help you let go of control you could start by clicking this link and getting my personalized BioSoul Integration Guide to get some helpful perspective about where you are on the healing journey right now.
I look forward to helping you express more life,
I've been supporting people through the ups and downs of their healing journeys for almost two decades now, mostly delivering BioSoul Integration from my office in Louisville, Colorado. However, it's possible to receive BioSoul Integration at a distance, as well. Those who seem to be most drawn to my work tend to be those who have felt the strong calling to consciously do the work of leaning into their growth and evolution as human beings. Discovering our soul's gifts, embodying them and then serving others with them is where true life satisfaction lies. Life will keep nudging us in that direction, anyway. BioSoul Integration can help speed up the process and smooth out the rough spots created by our innocent and unconscious resistance. Click the link to get your Personalized BioSoul Integration Guide.